The New Media tsunami is thundering through the marketplace, transforming everything in its path. Now that you realize that the Revolution is about people, participation, and persuasion, it‘s time to share an even more important secret.
The secret is in the opportunity that entrepreneurs and small business owners have; an unprecedented growth opportunity like never before in history.
Why is there such opportunity? Because the institutions and power structures of the past are still unwilling to flex and flow with the transformation taking place.
The institutions that dominated the Industrial Era are having their power to control and influence the masses erode right before their very eyes!
Corporations, government, and mass media may seem like giants, but like the slumbering giant who groggily awoke and tried to chase Jack down the beanstalk, they also have many limitations—not the least of which is speed.
As Jason Jennings and Lawrence Haughton stated in their book, It‘s Not the Big That Eat the Small…It’s the Fast That Eat the Slow, the speed of innovation is the real competitive advantage in today’s marketplace.
Speed is not exactly what institutions and the mass media are known for.
By institutions, we mean big universities, state or federal government, and any other closed system. If you‘ve been to your state‘s Division of Motor Vehicles, tried to get a local building permit, or dealt with the IRS, you know what we’re talking about.
You’re dealing with a system that doesn‘t like to admit fallibility. A system where there‘s a long-standing hierarchy which seeks to protect itself.
Because of that, change (especially anything that appears to threaten existing hierarchies) is shunned as evil. Every possible effort is made to hide, minimize, or deride the truth of the transformational forces.
Most corporations don’t have a structure that allows for rapid adaptation. Many corporations today still operate based on the principles of the Industrial Revolution. They see employees as cogs in the machine, and consumers as a herd of unthinking animals ready to be sold as black and white solutions.
Even Internet industries, which are supposed to be ―cutting edge, reveal their thinking through their actions.
Take broadband Internet access for example. Broadband infrastructure was built for fast downloads, not for uploads. Even if you have cable or DSL, you can download quickly, but it takes much longer to upload files.
Thanks to the mindset shaped by the mass media, mass marketing, and mass distribution, these corporations didn‘t see people putting back in as much as they took out. They didn‘t think about people participating.
Newspapers and Network Television
This is another group fighting the New Media Revolution.
Readership and viewership are dropping precipitously.
Every month there are stories in the mass media about how readership is declining. Newsrooms across the country have let go of a huge percentage of their workforce over the last decade.
Because people are tired of being told what to think with no option to participate and share their two cents worth.
The credibility and power of major newspapers are being eroded, and it‘s the New Media that‘s chipping away at that.
Sure there was the New York Times scandal with Jayson Blair, and a host of others that expose the fallibility of mass media in news reporting. But take a look at the more practical side of mass media related to business.
For example, in every town that Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) enters, the local newspapers (large and small) shudder in fear because they know their advertising and classifieds are going to plummet.
Craigslist is instantly searchable, always up-to-date, and interactive. For both advertisers and prospective buyers, dead tree papers are inconvenient, expensive, and completely non-participatory. These guardians of the past may fight hard to protect the status quo, but in doing so, they’re leaving a tremendous void in the marketplace—a void that fast-moving entrepreneurs and business owners will fill and profit from, if they take action sooner rather than later.
What Does This Mean to You and Your Business?
It means it‘s no longer ―business as usual. It means you can‘t market, sell, or manage the way you did even just three years ago.
It also means you can give yourself a tremendous competitive advantage when you understand the New Media Marketplace.
If you‘re in business and you‘re not already feeling these changes, you will soon enough. The New Media world of blogs, podcasts, social networks, wikis, and more are enabling participation and connection like never before in history. If you want a head start on your competitors, it’s something you must get involved with now.
It‘s not that you have to become a New Media expert. You don‘t even need to blog, podcast, or tweet every day. What it does mean is that you need to be aware of the New Media Marketplace and keep track of it even if you‘re not actively participating in it just yet.
Otherwise you can count on this—you will be pummeled by the whitewater of the tsunami when it hits you.
So, what makes the New Media Marketplace different? Is it really changing the way we do business from here on out?
You be the judge. Let‘s check out this brave new world together
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